Wednesday, March 30, 2011

You're a what?

After the breast feeding doll, and ensuing comments, I've come to realize something new about myself. Don't you hate when that happens, by the way? When you realize something so major about the basic makeup of your character that you didn't already know.

Did I tell you I'm 25, it feels late to have such major realizations...I take that back, the reason I'm 25 and just realizing these things is mostly because I'm just as new to them as they are to me. It's funny that they say people don't change, but I am here to tell you, I have.

I'm like a 150 degree turn around from the me I was 10 years ago, and sometimes I wonder where that came from. As it turns out, I'm pretty liberal. I was not at 15. I was uber-conservative. It's funny what a bit of college at a *liberal* arts school will do for that. It's even funny, though not a bit humorous at some of the things I cared about then. I truly cared about some really touch subjects that I won't mention here; and by cared, I mean as though it affected me in anyway what other people put in their bodies, had done to their bodies, etc. Now, not only do I not care, (I don't care so much I'm almost apathetic to the rest of the human race, that doesn't directly affect my life in some way.) but I don't just don't think it matters.

My super conservative self would have said, but what about the long-term effects it may have down the road? Your child has to grow up in this world. Yeah, well, that's fine. I will raise my child with the values system I have, instill his brain with a moral code that's fairly strict, and then reinforce that learning with my own behaviors. However, I'm not going to teach my child the very sheltered point of views that I learned growing up in a Baptist church. No, I'm not slamming the Baptists, I think we have come a long way in this much more modern world. Christians in general for that matter. But my point is, I want my child to be able to witness, be an upstanding Christian boy (man, husband, father, etc) without feeling the need to judge, condescend, or treat others not of his faith differently. Coexisting is necessary in this day and age; and the more friends you have at the bottom, the more you can reach out to.

Back on topic. I'm not so conservative anymore to think that breast feeding has anything to do with Disney Princesses dressing like hookers or not being able to learn that beauty is on the outside. I'm not so naieve to think that if I or a friend is breast feeding in my home or their own that my child doesn't need to know what that is. I would much rather invite questions than not. I would much rather my child, and any of his friends know what breast feeding is, why we do it, etc so that they can support their wives, girlfriends, etc when they reach that point in their lives because that is so important. It's not taboo, it's feeding a baby for heaven's sake. It's not a grown up activity, it's not something to be ashamed of, or teach our children to be ashamed of.

Neither is sex, by the way. That doesn't mean I'll be comfortable doing it, but it's still important to me that my child understand the basics, the whys and (ick) hows, and most importantly how to do it safely once he is ready to learn about it. I'm pretty sure I would hate for him to be the last kid on the playground to know what he'll be doing with his penis in (hopefully) 15 years. Because, let me assure you, it's not a comfortable thing to be the only kid who doesn't know. And it's most definitely not comfortable to be the kid who has to ask the other kids stupid questions because you don't know what happens and you don't want to talk to your parents because they might accuse you of having sex. I remember this girl in HS asking just mortifying questions, and I had to fight to keep from 1)giggling at her and 2) telling everyone of my friends who didn't hear the questions in the first place, because this girl did not need to be asking the things she asked. (To answer you wonderings, No, human penises don't look slimy like dog ones, ok.)

I guess my point is, there are still things that it's ok to be conservative about, but there are times when it's necessary to learn, talk about, educate, and be open to something that you really didn't think you ever would be.

Look, it's 3 days later, and I'm still hung up on those hideous facebook comments. I got so totally off track that I'm not even sure how I ended up where I did, and I definitely don't know how I got here. Don't you hate when you're driving down the road, and you're where you were supposed to be. Somehow, your brain drove you there with you basically being on co-pilot the whole time. It's kind of like that today for me.

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advisory blog

Many of my bloggy friends have blogs that people could read for advice on different subjects that directly relate to parenting. (PPD, pre-term labor, even turning 30) I've been blessed enough to not have experiences with either of those things, and my mommy-hood has been fairly typical. I'm not an expert on anything, nor am I just awful at something that I'm trying to improve. I'm pretty middle of the road, in most things.

I don't blog with the hopes of helping others, though that would be awesome if I had something to offer. That line of thought had me thinking, what do I have to offer? Let's see...

How to go to school at nights and weekends, and do just enough work to squeak out a B? Probably not.

Hmm, How to cook mediocre dinners that I generally can't provide a recipe for because my complete lack of discipline doesn't account for structured things like recipes? I'm not a bad cook, 99% of what I cook is good, but it's not spectacular and I didn't come up with any of the recipes.

I could give you some input on speech language therapy, but I don't have a master's degree, and I really only have continuing knowledge in what I'm currently doing which is articulation and pragmatic therapy with middle schoolers. So, ask away about that, but don't expect me to provide lectures anytime soon.

I also have a stereotypical two year old, who throws tantrums I can barely control and refuses to go to the potty. I could give tips on how to keep your face stony when tantrums strike in walmart, but I really think you have to have something internal to manage that. (Thanks to whichever of my grandparents passed that gene down, because it does keep at least some of my dignity intact as I'm marching out of walmart with a screaming kid, when my face is straight and cool.)

I've been married for five years, but again, nothing spectacular. The key to our marriage is good communication, love and admiration, and the willingness to compromise. Nothing much special there, and again, I think it's one of those innate things that you can't really teach, it's just there. No science about it.

So, that's about all I can think of as far as necessary pieces of advice I could give. If you can think of anything I've left out that may be useful, please feel free to offer it up. Other than that, I'm pretty much too vanilla to have any abundance of advice, guess you'll have to just follow my friends. : )

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Monday, March 28, 2011

Breast feeding Doll

So many times when I blog, I ask for opinions. This is a time that I'm not asking. I'm just giving you mine. A facebook friend posted a link to this article about a doll that allows little girls to pretend breast feed. There are some oddities with the idea, basically the bra with flower "nipples" that the baby makes sucking noises at. That's a bit much for me, but I applaud the idea of promoting breast feeding. I'm most definitely an advocate for breast feeding, even more so because I wasn't able to as much as I wanted with Archer. I always tell a breast feeding mother that I think they are doing an awesome job, because it's not easy, it's not always fun, and it's most definitely not accepted in most places.

But back to the doll. The comments on said friend's facebook were almost shocking. Here are a few, "That just crazy...... What has happened to this world?" (By introducing a doll that allows a child to breastfeed? Really? It's a natural act. Really?) "Certainly no chance for them to learn about beauty being on the inside. :(" (Since when is feeding your child about beauty? Well, I take that back, it's so very beautiful, and awesome. It's one of the most wonderful things you can do for a baby, and the experience is pretty good too.) Here's my favorite, "The world has gone crazy. Disney teaches our little girls to dress like hookers and now they can nurse a baby doll? Morals have gone straight to Hell!" (Again, what exactly is wrong with teaching our daughters about breast feeding? I'm pretty sure plenty of people could get a good dosing of teaching about breast feeding, so that maybe this wouldn't be such an uproar.)

I don't think the doll is something necessary, as most little girls will breast feed their dolls if mommy is breast feeding a baby anyway, bra and nipples or not. But those comments just really pushed my buttons and I bit my tongue multiple times. Am still biting it at this moment.

PS, is it biting your tongue if you're typing? Or your fingers?

Many of the comments on the article's page are mind blowing as well, tying teaching children about breast feeding to teen pregnancy. Really, because feeding a baby in the most natural way possible is a direct cause of teen pregnancy. I don't think a baby doll fed with a bottle is a cause of teen pregnancy, right? The ignorance of some people....

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Shameless promoting

A blog I read, just really cracks me up. She's a very funny lady, and the tone of the blog just makes me giggle all the time.

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Thursday, March 24, 2011

one more bit of honoring

Here is a post honoring a wonderful sweet lady who has been like a grandmother to me all my life. She is my half-sister's grandmother, Mema. She spoiled my sister, and as a result, I got the overflow. She always invited me to her house for holidays, and even got me Christmas and birthday presents.

She is currently struggling for her life in an ICU at a local hospital, and I'm torn between wishing her better and praying for her release to Heaven, where she can be even healthier than she's been in years.

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Wednesday, March 23, 2011

a little hommage

Elizabeth Taylor passed away today, a truly sad thing. My love of Liz has developed much more in my adulthood. I have always loved Cleopatra, but in college and first watched Cat on a Hot Tin Roof and I fell in love with Liz again. She's so gorgeous and classy. Pretty sure I would have married her, in her prime, given the chance.

Here's to the loss of a Hollywood icon, you will be missed.

(Photo courtesy of GroupNewsBlog)

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My kid is what?

After reading a recent news blip in which Michelle Obama gives an anecdotal story about taking her daughter to the doctor only to find out that her daughter's BMI was creeping upward, I wondered how I felt about it.

I'm all about boosting a kids self esteem, and not out-right telling them they were over weight. It just seems...hurtful. But what would you do if your child was creeping in the direction of overweight or if they already are?

I truly don't think this is an issue I'll ever have with my stringbean boy, but I still wonder...I already try not to allow too many snacks, and if he does get snacks (at home) they are usually as healthy as he'll eat. We do a lot of 100 calorie packs of gold fish and cookies. FYI, the 100 calorie pack method is only plausible if you are only giving them 1. : ) A friend told me the other day her sister just couldn't figure out why her daughter was overweight, she only ever snacked on 100 calorie packs of cookies (3 at a time.) He also snacks on pickles, fruit and cereal bars, or chocolate milk. And we only drink 2%, no point in adding extra fat where it's not needed.

I'm all for prevention of becoming overweight, but I guess I'm still stuck on what would you do once you realize it's becoming a problem? Have you already dealt with this, if so, what did you do?

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if it's not one thing...

Isn't it always another?

I'm mostly just wiped out from our trip. During spring break, I had two midterms to work on that I of course put off until the last possible moment. I crammed as much into my lunch break and after school on Monday that I could, and scrambled to finish the rest of Monday's that day. And then scrambled to start the second one that night too. Luckily, I had finished a few questions of Tuesdays, so I turned it in at 4 (due at 5).

Since then I've still not had much of a break, and it's nearly impossible to roll of out of bed each morning. And it's not just me. Archer has been a major grouch, who cries every time I leave him at daycare.

Today I am going home after work, taking a short nap, going to my mom's to pick Archer up, and snap a few photos of him in the sunshine. I'm pleased that the daylight lasts longer and that the weather is warmer.

The cool weather in NY really made me grateful of the sunshine and the warmth.

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Monday, March 21, 2011

Final Take

So...I went on a trip. An actual trip, no gutter minds here.

Overall, the week was long and tiring. Archer's entire nap schedule was thrown off and we did so many activities that we rarely had time to just sit and enjoy each other's company. I volunteered to be resident chef for the week, so I was busy making dinner each night. It was kind of fun to be cooking for everyone, though I was over it by the end of the week.

The plane ride home was easy and unstressful. Chance commented on how easy it was home as we were stopping a quarter of the way home for dinner. That's where the ease stopped. We had horrible service at Chili's in Gainesville, TX. Then, about 20 minutes after, we sat in traffic for 30 mins only to find out we had another 30 mins of 5mph until we could go again. We detoured off the interstate, and ended up being on the road an extra hour. It was awful.

Once we finally arrived home it hit me that we were actually gone, and Chance would be missing his friend. I hate that he doesn't have any friends close by so I've been chatting with BFF about coming down this summer to see us. He's already lived here once, but we will take him out to do things he never did while here.

Last night was such a late night, I was wiped out. Dragged to work today, and then had a ton of homework to finish tonight. Luckily, I had no class tonight so that really helped. Now it's 11:00 pm and I'm off to bed.

I'll update you on my life in general soon.

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Monday, March 14, 2011

The Proverbial Pants

Who wears the pants in your relationship(s)? Notice, I put that (s) there for a reason. There are some people who not only wear the pants in their romantic relationships, but also their friendships and work relationships as well.

My first NY observation is that most of the couples I've seen showcase male dominated relationships. That's just not so common back home, which I think is hilarious. When you consider the much higher levels of education and intelligence the north has...kidding. But really, when you consider the more liberal attitude thought to prevail in the north, you just wouldn't expect the men to think they need to be waited on hand and foot by a woman like the 50's.

Maybe it's just my family, but there are more women wearing the pants, or at least sharing the pants than there are men.

I'm totally ok with sharing the pants, that's what we do most of the time. Well, when we can get them off the kid...But I like his input on major decisions and he does mine as well. It's important to know expectations and rules in relationships, not meaning "I expect you to know the rules in this house are have my dinner ready when I walk in, or have those dishes done before you sit down."

I mean, having a clear cut set of expectations for each other, and not setting each other up for failure. And wouldn't you know, I'm ok with honoring and obeying so much better when I helped create the rules.

Interesting observation for me, because when I picture the over bearing, controlling husband he's a big southern man, red faced from work who's bossing his woman around. Not a professor from NY or Boston.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Take 2

So far the trip has been low key. We spent Friday at home relaxing, mostly because it's too cold for anything else.

Today we had lunch at a little fast food place. Archer and I shared a tasty plate of fried chicken and chocolate shakes. After lunch we went for a cruise around the lake and back home so the boys could play Madden.

This evening we went to the best friend's cousin's house. They all had a blast. Boys ate venison, they liked. Archer found all his favorite toys from Buzz to Woody to a skateboard. He was ready to stay.

It was ok with me, but I'm ready for NYC.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Goin on a Trip: Take 1

Today was hellacious. We got to the airport hours early, as neither of us have flown with the new stringent security measures and wanted to be on top of things.

It took us 20 mins to get through security. Which means we had 3.5 hours to kill....Or so we thought.

Turns out there was flooding in Newark, our connecting airport. Due to said flooding our plane was nearly two hours late. Since we had a connecting flight, the two hours would have made us miss it. Continental offered to let us switch our flight to the next day, until when we went to confirm that option, all flights in/out of Newark got cancelled. Even tomorrow.

After hours of crying, yesterday's mascara I didn't even know was there streaked down my face, etc, the guy at the continental desk transferred us to US Airways.

I was thrilled, even though that meant another hour of waiting. Until I looked down to see none of our seats were together. I had to board early and then beg this guy to switch with me. He did. It was awesome. I owe him.

After that, we sat down on the most cramped, teeny plane seats I've ever seen. I'm not sure if it's passed time or the airline. But I sure don't remember Southwest being this cramped.

Archer stayed awake a few minutes. And now he's currently crashed. Now that you're updated, I think I'll take a nap.


Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Reading Challenge

One of my favorite past times has always been reading. Usually when I pick up a book, I seldom put it down until it's finished. Last year, one of my goals for the year was to begin reading again. So I did. I read a lot of stupidly entertaining YA books, that had more depth than I expected. I also read real books, with intensity, life and challenges. It's always so refreshing to finish a book that was truly worth reading. Most of the time, I just can't wrap my mind around how truly awesome it was.

So, my goal this year, is to read thirty books by the end of the year. After the first quarter of the year, I will be at about fifteen, so I might even up the goal!

Anyway, I am going to keep a list here of all the books I've read this year, and will post a short summary of each under the category of Book Review. Eventually I'm going to get around to making a page for it, but right now it's a lot of work.

Here is my reading challenge marker from Goodreads, and you can click on it to make your own if you want!!

2011 Reading Challenge

2011 Reading Challenge
Sally has
read 12 books toward her goal of 30 books.

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Semi-new Blogger Feature

If you will remember, last year, blogger added a new feature. Pages. I posted about my "About Me" page (and here) last year, and pretty much left it at that.

I also developed a photography page.

Since then, I decided to move my Yearly To Do's from the sidebar to an actual page, so it's now up there also. And by up there, I mean, ^^ right up there above this post just below the title of the blog.

Thing is. When I decided I wanted to add the yearly goals page/tab, I couldn't remember how. I asked my friend, who is a top 20 Mommy Blogger, how to do it, because she's pretty awesome at blogger design and html. She's usually my go to person for anything blog design. Anyway, I remembered instantly after I posted on her wall how to do it, but I decided to go ahead and leave the question up for anyone who might not know, and on top of that, I decided to post a little addage here about it.

If you're wanting to add pages to your blogger(blogspot) blog, you simply go to posting, like to post a new blog entry, and right next to it is Edit Pages. In the edit pages field, you have the option of adding pages. Super simple. You can even use html in the boxes to add photos or fancy colors to your text.

That's all I have for now, hope that helps anyone who might have been wondering.

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Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Photo Update

I'm needing to brag a little about my fantastic camera, lenses, and the subject. I took these last month and just love them!

Crunch Time

Ok. Two days out from our trip. Knowing we will be leaving our house for 10 days in less than 36 hours is really daunting.

Most of our laundry is washed, dried, and folded; ready to be packed. I have to stay late tomorrow at work to print our boarding passes. I'm trying to hard to not procrastinate and put things off, but with class and a kid I'm just stretched pretty thin.

One load lifted is my sister has consented to my 18 year old nephew house sitting. I was so worried about my house being open and unoccupied that this is a huge relief. I trust him, he's a wonderful kid.

Even with that weight lifted I'm still at Code Red stress level. I'll be so relieved when we wake up in NY on Friday. Until then...

PS, stayed tuned for trip frustration updates.

What's your sacrifice?

Tomorrow is Ash Wednesday, making it the first day of Lent. You might be a little surprised to see that I even make notice of Lent if you read the post yesterday stating I was Southern Baptist. Believe me when I say I have no knowledge of most Catholic ordinances, etc. However, Lent is pretty popular across the media and social network sites these days. After a quick wiki search, I've found that Lent is a time representing Jesus' time in the desert, 40 days (and 40 nights if your a Josh Hartnett fan like me). During this time of fasting you give up something a vice or substance and use that time to dedicate to praying.

Like I said, I'm not Catholic in the least, so if that's wrong, feel free to correct me down below in a comment, I don't mind.

My take on this is, in honor of Jesus' 40 days and nights wandering the desert, being tempted, I'm going to spend 40 days giving up something that is a big temptation to me. Chick-fil-a. Sad I know. But hear me out. Most days, I can follow a smaller portioned diet of mostly healthy foods. However, the mere mention of a 12 piece nugget set up with polynesian sauce I salivate. I can't seem to say no to them, even knowing they kill my diet and are so very, very unhealthy.

So, in summary. No chick-fil-a for 40 days. I can do it. And each time someone suggests it, or I drive past it I will think of Jesus' struggles and temptations, and most importantly be thankful for his sacrifice for me so that I am only struggling in a hypothetical desert.

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Monday, March 7, 2011

State of My Life Address

I have been pretty busy lately. Why you ask? Ok, I'll tell you!

To begin with, I am a graduate student. I am in my third semester, have two and a half left. When finished, I will have a master's degree in school counseling and will be able to apply to the LPC supervision program. Through that, I will be able/have to work under a supervisor for 3000 hours as a mental health counselor. I'm in the higher level more application classes right now and it's very in-depth. Lots of papers to write and lots of time in class, including a once a month 8 hour Saturday class.

I also have had a very hectic time at work lately. Lots of IEP meeting and a major meeting that I struggled to get the parent involved with. That was very stressful, time consuming, and overwhelming!

On top of all that, I'm the mommy of a two year old. He's not an overly needy two year old, but just keeping up with him takes most of what I have.

So, if my current busy life isn't enough, we're leaving for NY in 3 days. We'll be there for 10 days. I'm super excited because Chance will be seeing his best friend for the first time in over a year; BUT I'm also nervous about flying with a wild two year old, going to NYC for the first time with said wild child, and just being so far from home.

So there, that's the state of my life. Busy, full, and wonderful!


I've been so very neglectful of this poor little blog lately. Life happens, as I know you know. Having a two year old and going to grad school full time seem to take up a large chunk of my time. Can't imagine it. Oh yeah, and that husband of mine occasionally needs some attention too. He gets whiny if I'm on the computer too much.

I'll post a life update soon. Just making excuses for now.

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How Flat is Your World?

A friend commented on a facebook post today that she had learned that the world wasn't as black and white as she once thought it was.

In high school, I was a very conservative person. A very conservative, occasionally judgmental person. There was either right, or wrong. And if it was wrong, I didn't want much to do with it. This was due in part to my southern roots, and mostly due to my southern baptist raising. There were just things you didn't do.

Being gay was one of those things you don't do. However, when my cousin and one of my biggest role models announced to the world when I was in middle school that she was a lesbian, I had to make adjustments in my world view. Maybe it was ok for her, but still, it was bad, wrong, something you don't do. I found myself defending her at school, because in a small southern town, people talk. A lot. It was ironic to me that I was defending things I didn't even believe in. Which made me question whether or not I did think it was something bad. Even more, whether or not I or anyone else had any reason to judge someone for living such an unspeakable lifestyle.

Right after I was a legal, registered voter a law came through to decide the definition of marriage. I'm ashamed to admit that I voted that marriage is a legal binding document that excludes same sex marriages. I thought I was doing what is right. There's that word again...right.

Fast forward to college. I went to a "liberal arts" college. I wasn't political enough to know anything about liberal and what it meant to me. But let me tell you, it meant culture shock. It meant same sex couples holding hands and kissing in public. It meant purple hair and giant gauged earrings, and baggy pants, and whatever the hell else you wanted to do with your appearance. It meant freedom. It meant you could actually be whoever you wanted to be. Most importantly, it meant learning that not everyone had to be like me.

The world can't be so black and white when there are people who have lived through African civil wars teaching classes on humanism and how to make a difference. There isn't so much right and wrong when you hear a professor telling you that it was either their father go to war in Austria because they were allies with Germany. It was either fight or die. That's not black and white anymore.

I learned so much in college, and most valuable to me was learning that I would not fall off the face of the earth if I went a little farther out of my comfort zone. The world isn't so flat, black or white. I learned that not everyone who is gay is the same as every other gay person in the world. Not every blonde sorority girl is the same as the girl walking next to her. There are very few definites in this world, I hope that you take the time to look around and realize this, because it's pretty important.

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